There are few artists in music history who have achieved the same influence and hierarchically dominating platform that Drake holds in his pocket in 2020. It's safe to say that he's utilized that responsibility to the best of his ability. If it weren't for Drake, mainstream audiences may have never heard of ILoveMakonnen, BlocBoy JB, or even Lil Baby or The Weeknd, for that matter.
Drake has not only catapulted artists without any semblance of a cult following into extraordinary fame, but he has also elevated mainstay artists to a higher level than they'd ever been accustomed to. But Drake's proteges and peers aren't the only ones who benefit from these transactions. Drake himself has been a beneficiary of these business partnerships, as well.
So, who is Drake's best counterpart? Who has served as the best sidekick a la Scottie Pippen or Robin? There's a multitude of contenders, but there can only be one crowned jewel amongst this star-studded lot.
10. Kanye West
Best collaborative efforts: "Forever," "Glow," "Pop Style," and "Blessings"
Despite their recent beef that's been carrying on for nearly two-and-a-half years now, Drake and Kanye West have been bigger influences on one another than nearly any other artists in each other's trajectories. There wouldn't be Drake without 808's & Heartbreak. There wouldn't be The Life of Pablo if it weren't for Drake. We were this fucking close to getting their collab album, Wolves, and now it will never see the light of day barring some next-level hypnotic mediation by Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Jesus Christ himself.
9. Kendrick Lamar
Best collaborative efforts: "Poetic Justice," "Fuckin' Problems," and "Buried Alive Interlude"
"They told me to take an R&B n***a on the road / and I told them 'No,' and drew for Kendrick and Rocky / I tried to make the right choices with the world watching," said Drake on "4PM in Calabasas." This isn't to say that Kendrick wouldn't have evolved into the best lyricist in modern hip-hop if it weren't for Drake, but Drizzy definitively helped boost K Dot into unparalleled superstardom. "Poetic Justice" is potentially the best song on this entire list, and there isn't a crime that I wouldn't commit to get an eight-track tape from these two.
8. Travis Scott
Best collaborative efforts: "Company," "Portland," and "Sicko Mode"
Everybody recognizes the instrumental to "Portland," and the bar-banging radio hit "Sicko Mode," but this duo's best effort is far and away "Company," one of the standout songs on If You're Reading This It's Too Late. Travis brings out the rottweiler in Drake to the best degree, and it's fun to say that anytime these two hop on a track together, there are two different rappers with Air Jordan sponsorships coming together to form like Voltron (shoutout Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the 36 Chambers).
7. Nicki Minaj
Best collaborative efforts: "Up All Night," "Make Me Proud," "Truffle Butter," "Moment 4 Life," "No Frauds," and "BedRock"
These two Young Money alumni have graduated from one of the most talented hip-hop groups of the 21st century and maintained their mutual love for one another throughout the years. Nicki may be one of the only mainstream artists in the game, regardless of gender, who can keep up with Drake bar-for-bar and hit-for-hit in a single calendar year.
6. The Weeknd
Best collaborative efforts: "Live For," Crew Love," "The Zone," and Drake's cameo in the music video for "Reminder"
The Weeknd got his first recognition by the mainstream music scene after Drake posted a YouTube link to "The Morning" on his Tumblr. The Weeknd returned the favor by assisting the dark, Toronto-ness vibe that culminated on Take Care. "Crew Love" is arguably the best song on this entire list, and the fact that these two don't have more collaborative projects together is nothing short of disturbing and depressing.
5. 2 Chainz
Best collaborative efforts: "All Me," "Sacrifices," "No Lie," "Big Amount," and "Bigger Than You"
There isn't a doubt in my mind that Drake wishes he could be half the hooper that Chainz is. Regardless of their discrepancy in their talent on the court, these two make magic every time that they touch the studio together. Chainz's inherent charismatic nature brings out the cockiest and most boastful version of Drake.
Best collaborative efforts: "What's My Name?" "Work," "Take Care," "Too Good," and "Lemon (Remix)"
AubRih forever and ever and ever. If you know me, you know my stance on how these two should be the rulers of the universe, side by side, a la HOVA and 'Yoncé. A man can only hope, but for the foreseeable future, it looks like they're basking in their own endeavors.
3. Lil Wayne
Best collaborative efforts: "Right Above It," "Miss Me," "Gonnorhea," "Used To," "Believe Me," "The Motto," "The Real Her," "She Will," "Uptown," "Successful," "Ignant Shit," and "HYFR"
Drake's big brother/mentor brought him onto the scene and put him front and center for the world to devour like a never-ending, rarely-tiring buffet. The two YMCMB members make up the best Jedi-Padawan combo since Jay-Z and Kanye West in the early 2000s. It's pretty unfair to Weezy to refer to him as Drake's Robin considering their business relationship, so let's just call him Drake's Alfred, if Alfred were to have a promethazine prescription.
2. Rick Ross
Best collaborative efforts: "I'm On One," "No New Friends (SFTB Remix)," "Stay Schemin'," "Lord Knows," "Pop That," "Gold Roses," and "Money in the Grave"
Rozay brings the seemingly artificial gangster out of Drake, but his Miamified presence elevates it into legitimate air. The pair rarely miss when they come together, and Ross's ability to deliver upper-echelon bars never ceases to bring the best out of Drizzy's pen game. Maybe it's my recency bias coming to fruition with the ranking of them above Weezy/Drizzy, but I truly believe that the quality-for-quality, track-by-track basis is damn near unparalleled when these two boss up together.
Best collaborative efforts: "DnF," "Love Me," "Where Ya At," "Digital Dash," "Live from the Gutter," "Diamonds Dancing," "Scholarships," "Grammys," "100it Racks," "Life is Good," and "Desires"
Drake's most frequent collaborator, Future Hendrix, is also his best contributing partner. The What a Time To Be Alive duo simply brings the best out of each other, like the newly-crowned LeBron James and Anthony Davis pairing. Their shared ability to go back and forth, as well as up and down has established them as the most dominant duo in recent musical memory.